The SMAC finale for both Battle Creek Lakeview and St Joseph took place on Friday night. It was a close battle, with the Spartans securing a 16-10 victory.
For a pair of teams that have scored a combined 509 points through eight weeks, it was a shock that their offenses scored zero points in this game. Instead, the defense and special teams provided all of the scoring.
Joron Brown got the Bears on the board with a 42-yard fumble recovery in the first quarter. Eight seconds into the second frame, Zach Kucharczyk scooped up a blocked punt and raced 80 yards for Lakeview, evening the score at seven as the game went to halftime.
In the third quarter, Max Taylor booted a 26-yard field goal for the Bears, giving them a three-point lead with a quarter to go. Lakeview would end the game on a 9-0 run to secure the victory. First, Andrew Berryhill scooped up a fumble and rumbled a yard into the end zone. Later in the frame, the Spartans swarmed the backfield and tackled St Joe for a safety.
There were 312 combined yards of offense in this game, 192 by Lakeview and 120 by St Joe. Jacob Kucharczyk had 117 rushing yards for Lakeview, while Zach Kucharczyk added 41 to his blocked punt return. St Joe was led by Joron Brown with 63 rushing yards and Matt Lanier with 38 passing yards.
Battle Creek Lakeview improves to 6-3 with this win. St Joseph’s slide continues with their fourth straight loss, and the Bears will end the regular season at 5-4. Both teams should have an opportunity to make the postseason, something that will be finalized on Sunday evening.